Choose Joy

Life is not always easy. The reasons why differ from day to day. But the outcome is usually the same. When life gets hard, I forget to find joy. It only seems right. Why would there be joy when nothing goes my way?

Just because life isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed. We read in the Bible many things that Jesus suffered through. He was mocked, spit on, wrongfully accused, and crucified. But He was never negative. That doesn’t even come close to defining His character. He taught us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), treat others how we want to be treated (Matthew 7:12), and turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). If Jesus Christ could teach, and live, this principles amidst everything He went through, I can choose joy through the rough times in life.

Joy isn’t just mere happiness. I love this definition of joy. Joy is “success in doing, finding, or getting something.” That something for me is my faith in Jesus Christ and his teachings. Joy to me is living the way that Jesus would have me live. Joy is choosing to find love for someone who has sought to do wrong by me. Joy is extending a hand of service to someone who is in need. Joy is walking away from a rude comment, instead of starting a conflict. I find joy when I do my best to exemplify the life of Jesus Christ.

Joy is a choice I have to make every day, hour, minute, and second. The Bible teaches that “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). I still feel sorrow, sadness, and hurt sometimes. I still hurt from the actions of others, situations outside of my control, and thoughtless comments that are made. But through these situations, I still have to find joy. I still have to have love, compassion, and charity for others. I have to choose to forgive, let go, and move on. Because without joy, I am nothing.

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